Three Things I Learned Through My Summer Internship at a Fortune #1 Company
Blog Post by ELP Student Rebekah Yonghee Lim (UX/HCI Track | Class of 2023)
This Summer, I worked as a UX Design intern at Walmart, the Fortune #1 company. I had a great time in the bay area that I’ve dreamed of so much. I always wanted to come to this area, the heart of Tech to work with amazing people to change users’ life into better places. I was fortunate to have my team, mentor, and supervisor to be with me.
The first week of the internship was at Arkansas with approximately 800 interns gathered in the headquarters regardless of roles or field. It was good to network with the interns who are in different offices including Arkansas, Dallas, and more.
After the welcoming week at Arkansas, I moved to the Sunnyvale office. For the intern project, I worked on the real problem that Walmart has for the international market. Especially, our team is working on Walmart.ca which is Walmart in Canada. I had a new experience researching the Canada E-commerce market by conducting a competitive analysis. It was not easy to understand new customers, however, I am figuring out to learn about them and design the product for them. Also, I am learning how to define the business problem from our user’s perspective and solve it based on their needs.
Before the internship, I had three objectives to fulfill through the internship. In the following, I would like to answer the three learning objectives about how I feel after the internship.
1) Get a better understanding of how to be a better UX Designer who can communicate better with the stakeholders.
It was great to communicate with different stakeholders. Not only with my mentor, I directly communicated with the PM, content designer, accessibility team, and design system team. I learned a lot by having lots of meetings with them, especially by asking if my design works for the customers by checking with the experts on each team. Still, it was not easy to communicate with the PM who was pretty strict and pushy in terms of deadlines. However, I talked about this to my mentor and others and they told me this is how it works and one of the designers’ jobs is to handle the deadlines and mediate the timeline with PM.
2) What are the essential things to consider when working as a UX Designer in the E-commerce domain?
E-commerce was a totally new domain for me especially targeting the Canadian market. I asked a lot to my mentor how to learn about E-commerce in Canada. She mentored me by suggesting deep research into Canadian competitors and using many other services that could be referenced and inspire us even though it is not direct competitors. Also, it was fun to know that Walmart has objectives for the project before launching, and has documents that show the importance of the project and how it will lead to an increase in consumption and revenue of the company. It was also fun to see how such a big company has many departments and teams and communicates with each other. Especially, as I love to learn from others by talking, I tried to network with people by connecting with a lot of associates in and out of my team and participating in leadership sessions.
3) As an intern, how can I have a daily/weekly routine to grow as a better UX Designer?
I do not figure out a clear daily/weekly routine, however, I wanted to have a window for every intern to share their learning points together. Therefore. I made a slack channel where not only UX interns but also data science and software engineering interns can join and share what they learned throughout the internship. I was happy to initiate this and read how others learn from the internship.
Overall, it was a great time and the time went so fast. Especially, the fact I could work on a real project that could impact Canadian customers is exciting and thrilling. I will recall this experience a lot.